Abraham Lincoln Memorabilia Museum, California

I never expected to find an Abraham Lincoln museum in southern California. But the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands showcases the largest collection of Lincoln and Civil War memorabilia west of the Mississippi River.

Opened in 1937, the limestone-faced building stands in a quiet grassy park. Inside this tiny jewel, I marveled at all sorts of Lincoln memorabilia, including a cane, letters, strands of hair cut from his head the night he was assassinated and life masks made during his presidency, not to mention a complete Lincoln penny collection and international postage stamps bearing his image.

Other exhibits explain various aspects of the Civil War, such as its leaders, soldiers and battlefield medicine, and feature artifacts from various battles.

Redlands is on I-10, about 60 miles east of central Los Angeles. The Lincoln Memorial Shrine (125 W. Vine St.) adjoins the A.K. Smiley Public Library; follow the signs posted along the Orange Street Exit on I-10. It's open from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-5 p.m. daily; closed Mondays and holidays, except on Lincoln's birthday.

To learn more, call 1-909/798-7565.

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